One of the main protagonists of the Italian dance music scene, Planet Funk emerged in 1999 as the fusion of two successful club music outfits, Souled Out (formed by Neapolitan producers Alessandro Sommella, Domenico "GG" Canu, and Sergio Della Monica) and Kamasutra (Florence's keyboard player Marco Baroni and DJ Alex Neri). The name Planet Funk was taken from an old Alex Neri track. English vocalists Auli Kokko and Dan Black were asked to join, and the ensemble mixed the track "Chase the Sun" for the summer of 2000. The song became an unexpected hit in Ibiza, prompting Verve's discoverer David Boyd to sign the group with Virgin Records. The first album, 2002's Non Zero Sumness, went gold and was also crowned at the Italian Music Awards. A remixed version Non Zero Sumness Plus One appeared toward the end of the year, followed by The Illogical Consequence in 2005 and Static in 2006. Other vocalists featured in the albums include Raiss, Sally Doherty, John Graham, and Luke Allen. Planet Funk have been invited to collaborate with Simple Minds, and to remix tracks by New Order and Faithless, among others.
Funk is a music genre that originated in African American communities in the mid-1960s when African American musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music, jazz, and rhythm and blues (R&B). Funk de-emphasizes melody and chord progressions used in other related genres and brings a strong rhythmic groove of a bass line played by an electric bassist and a drum part played by a drummer to the foreground.
After many years in the music business, saxophonist-bandleader-composer John Lurie has created a musical identity all his own. Best known for his mercurial work with the Lounge Lizards, Lurie has found a pleasant niche recording soundtracks for films like Get Shorty and Stranger Than Paradise. Accompanied by a number of talented musicians, including Marc Ribot, John Medeski, Calvin Weston, and other assorted Lounge Lizards, Lurie displays an impressive ability to create lively and evocative film music. While Lurie only performs on half of these compositions, his sonic vision is both distinctive and eclectic. Bouncing stylistically from downtown funk and progressive soul to chamber jazz, rock, and tribal percussion workouts, Lurie's mood-inducing orchestrations are witty, passionate, and consistently engaging.